How to call 911 with Alexa for emergencies


By Bradly Spicer
Published on: June 22nd, 2021

Can Alexa call 911? – Unfortunately, whilst Alexa can call your phone when you’ve lost it, it cannot call 911 without some configuration and changes.

However, through the use of a device like the Echo Connect, you can use VOIP or your Landline as the outgoing call method, making calls to 911 possible.

Alternatively, there are varying Alexa Skills that allow you to send alerts or messages through different applications, for example, My SOS Family.

How to trigger an emergency call with your Amazon Alexa

There are multiple ways of calling the police via your Amazon Alexa, unfortunately, it does require additional add-ons to your base Amazon Alexa as of the moment. The Echo Connect is an additional device, that can be plugged into your network to allow you to call any phone number through your Alexa devices.

Using Amazons Echo Connect to call 911

Amazon Echo Connect

Unfortunately, you can no longer buy the Amazon Echo Connect as it didn’t hit the sales criteria Alexa wanted. However, it is still supported and usable. Because of this, you can look to purchase an Echo Connect via third-party sites like eBay, these do range in price as some consider them to now be collectibles. It works as a speaker-phone, so you do need to manually connect it to your phone line.

You can follow these steps to set up your Echo Connect if you do get hold of one:

  1. Set your Echo Connect next to your modem or phone line jack and plug it in
  2. Open the Alexa App in your Smart Phone (iPhone / Android Phone)
  3. Select the three lines in the bottom right
  4. Select “Settings”
  5. Select “Add Device”
  6. Select “Amazon Echo”
  7. Select Echo Connect” and follow the on-screen steps
  8. You can then call the Emergency Services by saying “Alexa, Call 911”

Once you have this setup, you can request your Echo devices on your network to make outbound calls to landlines and mobile numbers. This includes emergency numbers like 911 or 999 (If you’re in the UK).

Using an alarm system

Luckily, some Home Security Alarm Systems actually allow you to call them, arm & disarm & trigger a panic alarm all through your Alexa device which can, in turn, lead to your security company calling the emergency services on your behalf. Whilst this isn’t perfect, it’s definitely a great backup option!

This option mostly applies in the US but if you’re from other areas, security companies are slowly starting to become more aware, it’s definitely worth checking if our list of Alarm companies applies here:

Alarm SystemCan it activate a Panic Alarm?Can you Arm / Disarm it by voice?Does it require additional hardware?
AbodeYesYesNo
Alarm.comNoYesNo
Ring SecurityNoYesYes
Scout AlarmYesYesNo
SimpliSafeNoYesYes

There’s plenty of Smart Home security systems out there for you to check, some of the budget ones work perfectly fine but with the rise in crime and security risks, it’s definitely worth checking out some of the competitors.

Using Alexa Skills

Amazon Alexa 4th Generation

There are different ways to use Alexa to contact people following an emergency although this doesn’t allow you to contact emergency services. The skills in question are Ask My Buddy & My SOS Family, both of which allow you to contact specific people on your contacts tab should you have an emergency.

Ask My Buddy

Ask My Buddy is a free option designed to help people who require regular assistance like the elderly and works purely on contributions.

How to set up Ask My Buddy Account

  1. Navigate to askmybuddy.net
  2. Select Register in the top menu
  3. Add your information accurately including your names, email address, phone number & unique password.
  4. Next up, login to the fresh made account.
  5. Select Contacts at the top of the page
  6. Enter information for the contacts you wish to receive a notification should you trigger it
  7. You can now close the page.

That’s the hardest part of this setup, you’ll need to now install the Ask My Buddy skill on your Alexa device, this will ask you to log in to the account you’ve just created on Ask My Buddy.

How to set up the Ask My Buddy Alexa Skill

  1. Ask Alexa: “Alexa, Open the Ask My Buddy Skill”
  2. Alexa will then send a notification to your Alexa App on your Smart Device. Open the Alexa App from here
  3. On the home tab you should see an “Action Needed” card, if you do not, simply navigate to your Alexa Skills. Both options will prompt you to sign into your Ask My Buddy account
  4. Once done you have successfully connected Alexa to Ask My Buddy

Now that you have this setup, you can use Ask My Buddy directly with Alexa, simply use commands such as “Alexa, ask my buddy to send help”, or “Alexa, ask my buddy to contact {Name}”.

As this service is third-party to your phone, it never uses your credit/contract, etc to make outgoing text notifications. We do however recommend discussing this with your contacts so they are aware of what these notifications mean when they are sent to them.

My SOS Family

My SOS Family is very similar to Ask My Buddy but comes with a few extra features. There is an additional fee, which is $3.49 a month. It also comes with an iPhone and Android App should you wish to use this outside your Alexa configuration and many other features like a countdown timer that sends notifications when the timer reaches 0.

If you’re using this outside the US there is an international rate of $5 which can put many people off. You may find the Ask My Buddy system better in this instance.

How to set up My SOS Family

Did you know Alexa can call non-emergency numbers?

Alexa can call phones

Alternatively, you can use Alexa to call phones directly. This is particularly good to know if you’re elderly or have a physical disability that prohibits movement. You will need the Alexa App to have access to your contacts which can be done via your Smart Phone App Permissions.

Simply ask your Alexa device something along the lines of “Alexa, call {Contact Name}”, alternatively, you can get Alexa to call a direct phone number if you remember this with “Alexa, call {Phone Number}”.

Alexa Guard

Alexa Guard is a free feature that is built into your Amazon Echo devices, it is designed to listen to varying sounds such as Glass Breaking, Footsteps, Smoke & Co Detector Beeps making it perfect for anyone who needs assistance or is away from home.

If any of these parameters are met, the owner will receive notifications to their phone/tablet which they can then relay through the use of other applications like Ask My Buddy.

Along with this, you can purchase Alexa Guard Plus which will connect with your Smart Lights for example, and turn them on and off to give the impression someone else is home.

Alexa Guard (Free)Alexa Guard Plus
Call Emergency Helpline from your Echo✔️
Get Smart Alerts about Potential Emergencies ✔️
Smoke & CO Alarm Sounds✔️✔️
Glass Breaking Sounds✔️✔️
Activity Sounds✔️
Deter Unwanted Visitors ✔️
Automatically turn on/off Smart Lights to pretend you’re home✔️✔️
Sound Dogs Barking when Smart Camera detects Motion✔️
Sound Siren when activity is detected inside✔️

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